The Washington Post

Prince George’s fire department warns of inspection scam

Prince George’s County fire officials are warning residents and business owners about a scam that promises an official fire inspection for $25.

The department is investigating a flyer that claims to be from the county’s “Fire Prevention Office.” At least one person has been soliciting homes and businesses in the county with the flyer, which lists the official address of the fire department but is full of poor grammar.

The fire department will never solicit residents or businesses through flyers for inspections, said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the department. Businesses are required to get fire inspections, but they must contact the county directly and pay for the inspections before someone from the department conducts the review.

It’s unclear if anyone has fallen for the scheme, said Brady, who added that the police and fire departments are working together on an investigation.

“We’re concerned that if someone did comply, they may have a false sense of security and that their business or home was improperly inspected,” Brady said.

People who have received the flyer can call 301-583-1830 to report it. County fire inspectors have badges and other credentials to identify themselves. Residents who are confronted by someone with the suspicious flyers should call 911, the fire department said.

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Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.



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